The eyes of the tennis world turn to Melbourne on Monday, as the first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open, takes centre stage.
Reigning champion Novak Djokovic, world No. 1 Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka are all vying for the title at Melbourne Park, where the former has reigned supreme for almost a decade.
Djokovic has won the Australian Open six times since 2008 and is the only player to have clinched that many championships in the Open era, and as he’s undefeated in finals, he’ll come into the 2017 tournament full of confidence.
Recently knighted Murray will have something to say about that, though, as he chases his maiden Australian Open triumph. The Scot has five runners-up medals at the tournament but comes into 2017’s edition in the form of his life.
Murray kicks off his campaign against Illya Marchenko, while Djokovic faces a tricky opening examination against Fernando Verdasco.
Here we look at the TV schedule for the first-round ties all the way through to the final on Sunday January 29.
|Australian Open 2017 TV Schedule|
|Date||Time (ET)||Time (GMT)||Round||U.S. TV Info||U.K. TV Info|
|Jan. 15||7 p.m. – 7 a.m.||12 a.m. - noon||First round||ESPN 2||Eurosport|
|Jan. 16||9 p.m. – 7 a.m.||2 a.m. - noon||First round||ESPN 2||Eurosport|
|Jan. 17||9 p.m. – 7 a.m.||2 a.m. - noon||Second round||ESPN 2||Eurosport|
|Jan. 18||9 p.m. – 7 a.m.||2 a.m. - noon||Second round||ESPN 2||Eurosport|
|Jan. 19||11 p.m. – 7 a.m.||4 a.m. - noon||Third round||ESPN 2||Eurosport|
|Jan. 20||9 p.m. – 7 a.m.||2 a.m. - noon||Third round||ESPN 2||Eurosport|
|Jan. 21||9 p.m.– 7 a.m.||2 a.m. - noon||Round of 16||ESPN 2||Eurosport|
|Jan. 22||9 p.m. – 7 p.m.||2 a.m. - noon||Round of 16||ESPN 2||Eurosport|
|Jan. 23||9 p.m. – 7 a.m.||2 a.m. - noon||Quarterfinals||ESPN 2||Eurosport|
|Jan. 24||3 a.m. – 6 a.m.||8 a.m. - 11 a.m.||Quarterfinals||ESPN 2||Eurosport|
|Jan. 24||9 p.m. – 2 a.m.||2 a.m. - 7 a.m.||Quarterfinals||ESPN 2||Eurosport|
|Jan. 25||3 a.m. – 6 a.m.||8 a.m. - 11 a.m.||Quarterfinals||ESPN 2||Eurosport|
|Jan. 25||9:30 p.m. – 2 a.m.||2:30 a.m. - 7 a.m.||Women's Semifinal||ESPN 2||Eurosport|
|Jan. 26||3:30 a.m. – 6 a.m.||8:30 a.m. - 11 a.m.||Men's Semifinal||ESPN 2||Eurosport|
|Jan. 27||3:30 a.m. – 6 a.m.||8:30 a.m. - 11 a.m.||Men's Semifinal||ESPN 2||Eurosport|
|Jan. 28||3 a.m. – 5:30 a.m.||8 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.||Women's Final||ESPN||Eurosport|
|Jan. 29||3 a.m. – 6:30 a.m.||8 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.||Men's Final||ESPN||Eurosport|
In the U.K., BBC Two will air highlights from Saturday January 21 starting between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. GMT. In the U.S., ESPN will also broadcast highlights shows throughout the tournament.
Murray Looking to Break Australian Open Duck
The Australian Open is becoming something of a curse for world No. 1 Murray. Despite reaching five finals over the years, he's never lifted the trophy.
And even though he comes into this year's tournament in the form of his life after a remarkable 2016, finally tasting glory in Melbourne is far from assured.
Once battling through the first round against Marchenko, Murray's journey to the final looks a little troublesome—a quarter-final tie with Federer especially.
The Swiss superstar, who was responsible for serving up Murray's first taste of final disappointment back in 2010, is never an easy customer to negotiate and could well prove a banana skin for the Scot.
Then there's the small matter of a certain Djokovic, who, like Federer, has given Murray plenty of cause for heartbreak over the years.
The Serbian has beaten Murray four times in the title showdown and done so without breaking much of a sweat, either.
In four finals against Djokovic, Murray has won just two sets. One of those sets was taking the lead in the 2013 final, but Djokovic didn't blink for a second and rattled off three straight sets to win the championship.
Plus, in the recent Qatar Open, Djokovic showed the new world No. 1 that he's more than capable of taking top spot back by ending his 28-match winning streak in the final.
Should the pair meet in the final on January 29 it will undoubtedly be a truly gruelling battle, and Murray himself said he's prepared for a marathon match if he makes the final, via BBC Sport:
The way that we both play, we can't just hit through each other in one shot. It takes a few big shots to win points, so if we're playing well they tend to be long, physical matches. Doha was good because I was able to see how well I recovered from it: first week of the year, you can be a bit stiff and sore. I pulled up pretty well, so it was positive.
Australian Opens have been rather easy to predict in recent years. If Djokovic was featuring, then you'd bet your house on him taking home the trophy.
However, 2017 is very different indeed. Not only is Murray now officially the best player in the world, but the likes of Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic are all more than capable of going all the way.